Baguio ABC elections on Wednesday

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

TWO unopposed bets in the past barangay elections will be soliciting votes from their fellow barangay heads for the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) presidency elections to be held at City Hall Wednesday, December 18.

Lourdes Subdivision Extension punong barangay Benjamin Macadangdang and Lower Dagsian barangay chairman Michael Lawana announced their line-ups in a short program Monday afternoon attended by officials of the 128 barangays in the city.

Macadangdang, who also ran for the ABC presidency in 2010 against former ABC president and now Councilor Joel Alangsab, is on his third term serving as barangay chairman. He also served various positions in the ABC prior to running in 2010.

Joining him in Team STAR (Spearhead Transparency, Accountability and Responsible ABC) are Middle Quezon Hill PB Editha Ibarra for vice president and Upper Dagsian PB Raymund Ruivivar for auditor.

Barangays chairmen Julita Sagun (Upper General Luna), Timothy Pudlao (Kias), Tomas Tolete (East Bayan Park), Nenita Trinidad (East Modernsite), James Doligas (Brookside), Jerry Uy (San Roque), Arturo Rapelo Jr. (Imelda Village) and Rodlfo Jojo Rimando (West Quirino Hill) are vying for eight vacant positions in the board of directors.

Macadangdang laid out their group’s six-point agenda in Monday’s ABC elections forum which include empowering participative governance through district meetings; institutionalizing the ABC newsletter as a source of information and interaction; expanding legall assistance and access to barangay officials; introducing centralized barangay cluster development sourcing for proximate barangays; fostering transparency and accountability of ABC policies, project execution and funding and lastly, institutionalizing the mechanism for speedier payment of premiums due to barangay officials from Philhealth and the Government Service Insurance System and other social security and healthcare entitlements.

He stressed barangay officials remain as the most abused officials working 24 hours a day and seven days a week but with the least pay and benefits citing GSIS benefits have not been received by those whose terms expired due to delayed or non-payment of premiums.

The political science and Masters in Management graduate added improvements in the ABC office should be done as well as improve transparency and accountability mechanism on government funded projects.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Lawana, a mining engineer who once served as a director of the Benguet Electric Cooperative, said they have a practical approach to governance and leadership in the ABC.

Flanked by also equally formidable lineup, Lawana is joined by barangays chairmen Albert Ponce (Andres Bonifacio) for vice president and Murphy Maspil Sr. (Holy Ghost proper) for auditor in their DVOICE (Dynamic, Values Oriented, Interdependent Council of Executives) of the ABC.

Joining the DVOICE lineup are barangays chairmen Ignacio Gallente (Middle Quirino Hill), William Regacho (Trancoville), Stanford Ang (AZCKO) and Carol Domogan (Dominican-Mirador) for board of directors.

Among the primary advocacies of the group include continuation of past programs of the ABC; empowerment of a democratic, consultative and participatory leadership; extend assistance to other barangays on budget preparation, legal, financial, educational and livelihood programs as what he experienced as Beneco director where districts help each other as in other electric cooperatives.

He also expressed the immediate need for computerization and Information technology development of all barangay database for speedier delivery of public service.

These according to both candidates are important programs which would benefit all 128 barangays using the P2 million yearly budget of the ABC.

Both candidates said they have no backing of higher ranking local government officials adding issues on alleged meddling of politicians in the previous ABC elections will not happen this time.

Lawana, however, said he paid courtesy call with Domogan last week presenting his lineup and their primary advocacies. Macadangdang is also a close ally of the city mayor after serving in campaign sorties of the local Timpuyog Ti Baguio party in the May polls.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan earlier stressed he will not meddle in the ABC elections adding barangays must be left to vote and govern themselves to determine who will represent them in the City Council as ex-officio member.

Meantime, the election committee chaired by Lower Quirino Hill barangay chairman Van Oliver Dicang with barangay chairs Aurora Abellera, Florentino Awingan, George Banayos and Ferdinand Bucad as members issued its first resolution last December 14 for elections to be held today, December 18, 9 am to 12 pm.

The resolution enforces a no campaign rule inside the voting area and 50 meters away from the voting area during the election period. The committee also will enforce strict rules during the voting period that will limit access in the voting area among other rules to be promulgated by the committee.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 18, 2013.

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